Healthy, tasty and unusual snack: East Indian Popcorn

Nov 28, 2009 by

East Indian Popcorn

This totally different popcorn recipe is a simple, quick and easy way to make a healthy and delicious homemade snack for kids or adults.  Popcorn is actually nutritious, if it’s not slathered in unnatural grease and tons of salt. This curry-spiced version is full of interesting flavors and textures.

When I first came across a Food & Wine cookbook recipe for “Indian Popcorn,” I looked for the “nigella seeds,” aka “black onion seeds,” it called for. Not finding them, I substituted sesame seeds. They ended up burnt to a crisp on the bottom of the pan.

Flowers of garlic chives

Since then, my garlic chive plants have blossomed and are now dropping their little black seeds. I thought maybe I could use those seeds in this recipe.  They aren’t “nigella seeds,” but seemed pretty close to “black onion seeds.” I discovered that the flowers and seeds of garlic chive are edible.  These seeds are probably better for you soaked or even sprouted, which I’ll try next time, but they are quite flavorful and crunchy.  So this time, I made the recipe my own with not only my own garlic chive seeds but also a jalapeno from the garden, instead of the cerranos the original Food & Wine recipe called for. My daughter and I find that there are never enough shallots and chilies, so next time I’ll put more of those.

Seeds of the garlic chive plant

We had a lovely Indian- themed, late afternoon snack the other day with this popcorn and some chai tea made with hot milk.

East Indian Popcorn

1/3 C oil

5 or more shallots (small, pink, delicately flavored onions), very thinly sliced

1 or more jalapenos, very thinly sliced

1 ½ t mild curry powder

1 t garlic chive seeds or nigella seeds or black onion seeds (optional)

¾ C popcorn kernels


1. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the sliced shallots and jalapeno, and fry over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the fried shallot and chilies to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

2.  In the same skillet, cook the curry powder and optional chive or onion seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about one minute. Stir in the popcorn kernels and cover. Cook, shaking the pan every 30 seconds until the kernels are nearly stopped popping, about 5 to 8 minutes. Season the popcorn with a little salt and transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with the shallots and jalapenos, and serve.

Related post:  “French Tea Time: Glorified After School Snack Crosses the Atlantic”

This post was featured on Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday on Dec. 4, 2009

© Sacred Appetite / Anna Migeon / 28 November 2009 / All rights reserved